US chipmaker Onsemi has announced plans to invest around $2bn in its production plant in the Czech town of Rožnov pod Radhoštěm.

The multi-year funding will be focussed on developing vertically integrated silicon carbide manufacturing capabilities at the existing site.

Onsemi has said the investment will “solidify advanced power semiconductor supply chain for its European and global customer base” and that it will “bring critical manufacturing capabilities of energy-efficient chips to Central Europe to power the future of electrification, renewables and AI.”

It is said to be one of the largest private sector investments in the Czech Republic’s history and one of the first in advanced semiconductor manufacturing in Central Europe.

Hassane El-Khoury, president and CEO of Onsemi, said: “Our brownfield investment would establish a Central European supply chain to better service our customers’ rapidly increasing demand for innovative technologies that improve the energy efficiency in their applications.

“Through a close collaboration with the Czech government, the expansion would also enhance our production of intelligent power semiconductors that are essential to helping ensure the European Union is able to achieve its ambitions to significantly reduce carbon emissions and environmental impact.”

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Jozef Sikela, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, added: “Onsemi’s decision to expand in Czechia is a clear confirmation of our country’s attractiveness for foreign investment and will bring significant momentum for the development of our economy. This investment not only strengthens our position in the semiconductor field but can also contribute to the development of the automotive industry and help us with its adaptation to the rise of electromobility.”

Based in the US state of Arizona, Onsemi currently produces 10 million chips every day in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm. It says the development of the site will see intelligent power semiconductors produced there that are used for improving the energy efficiency of applications in electric vehicles, renewable energy and AI data centres.

The Czech government has said the investment will significantly boost production at the site and that the number of jobs there will increase from 1,700 to 3,000. It has yet to negotiate a package of investment incentives with Onsemi.

Onsemi has 33,000 employees worldwide, including 2,200 staff across its three Czech plants.